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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Mercury Retrograde Reading with the Celestial Tarot

What is your reaction when you hear the term “Mercury retrograde”?

(a) Huh? What’s that?
(b) Oh no! I’m doomed! Nothing will go right!
(c) Something in between

As an astrologer, I am very familiar with Mercury turning retrograde (appearing to move backwards in the sky) several times a year. It’s retrograde even as I type this (July 7-July 31).

Mercury is the planet of the mind and communication, so it’s pretty obvious that if it “moves backwards,” all manner of thinking and communication could be jumbled, confusing, erroneous, and downright disastrous. The current Mercury retrograde started out in Leo and then sashayed backwards into Cancer, which also affects the effects one might expect to experience.

I am delighted to share a Tarot spread that I recently heard about through Bridget at _Biddy Tarot_  : The Mercury Retrograde Spread by _Liz Worth_. Her positional definitions are based on the nature of Mercury retrograde as well as the energies we associate with Leo and Cancer.

Liz has graciously allowed me to post the spread here. The Celestial Tarot by Kay Steventon and Brian Clark (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) insisted on participating in this reading with me, and I agreed that it made a great deal of sense.

1. What is it time for me to value within myself?

FOUR OF CUPS / Serpens
The zodiac sign linked with this card is Scorpio (Water), whose modern ruler is Pluto. There is a sense of loss, disappointment, and grief in the Four of Cups, and most likely these feelings are deep and powerful. It is time for me to value those feelings – not so I can wallow in them or use them as an excuse, but so that I can honor them as real and useful to my current-day Self.

2. How can this help me shine in the world?

With this card we enter into the first decanate of Sagittarius (my Sun sign), ruled by Jupiter. The energy is that of strong conviction and determination to defend that which is valued against all attacks. Both Jupiter and Sagittarius (Fire) carry the confidence and power to handle this sort of thing quite well. This is about reaffirming my beliefs and goals in the face of adversity, and that is how I can shine in the world.

3. Which of my needs is most important to focus on to support my path at this time?

Another reference to my Sun sign, Sagittarius, comes in the form of the constellation Sagitta. With Aces often representing new beginnings and the suit of Pentacles being the suit of Earth (physical, material world), it is important for me to focus on a new direction or plan on the material, physical plane. This could refer to health or to finances, for example. Ruling this card are the sign Capricorn (Earth) and its ruler, Saturn. It’s all about structure, discipline, ambition, and achievement – and how I can use that to support and enhance my spiritual and creative nature.

During this Mercury retrograde, the consecutive signs Scorpio, Sagittarius, and Capricorn form a trio of diverse energies that can be channeled in my chosen direction.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

U.S.A. Birth Chart (reprise)

The following is a post I originally made on July 4, 2014 to coincide with Independence Day here in the U.S.

It is about America’s birth chart and the Tarot cards that one could associate with that chart. Please note that I am not ignoring the fact that there were many nations on this continent long before the arrival of European settlers and the writing of the Declaration of Independence. I am choosing in this post to deal with the formal establishment of the United States of America in 1776.

After doing a bit of research, I quickly discovered that astrologers do not agree on the date and time (mostly the time) for which the birth chart of the U.S. should be cast. I won’t go into all of that here. You can do a search on the net and find out more than you probably want to know about it!

The two main variances seem to be the “Sibly chart,” originally published in 1787 by English astrologer, physician and herbalist, Ebenezer Sibly (1751-1799). Those who use this chart note that Sibly was alive at the time of the signing and therefore could have had access to information that is no longer available. The Sibly Chart, cast for July 4, 1776, 5:10 pm LMT (Local Mean Time), Philadelphia, PA, has Sagittarius rising.

In contrast, we have the “Gemini Rising Chart” for 02:13am, attributed to Evangeline Adams in the 1920s. This chart places Uranus (planet of rebellion and upheaval) exactly on the Ascendant. Some astrologers argue that this reflects the “birth” of America quite accurately, but opponents feel the chart does not depict the true nature of American character. Anthony Louis explained his support for this chart in a blog post in 2012: http://tonylouis.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/why-i-use-a-usa-gemini-rising-chart/

So… which chart shall I use for this post? In Tarot terms, using the astrological attributions developed by the Order of the Golden Dawn, I have a choice between Temperance (Sagittarius rising) and The Lovers (Gemini rising). I think I am going to go way out on a limb and not only choose the Gemini chart but use the Aleister Crowley Thoth deck (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) as my Tarot reference for this post.

This should be interesting…

Below is a chart for July 4, 1776, 02:13am LMT (Local Mean Time), Philadelphia, PA. I am using the Equal House System.

The Rising Sign, Gemini, is represented by The Lovers card. Because the planet Uranus sits on the Ascendant, I am pairing The Lovers with The Fool, which is linked with Uranus by modern occultists (Uranus had not yet been discovered when the Golden Dawn made its original astrological attributions, which attributed the element Air to The Fool).

In her book The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need (Taylor Trade Publishing), Joanna Martine Woolfolk writes, “Your Ascendant is the sign that reflects your outward demeanor and to a great extent determines how the outside world looks at you.” It often represents the “mask” we wear or the way we act when our defenses are up.

In the Thoth deck, we not only see “The Lovers” in Trump 6, we also see The Hermit officiating over the marriage depicted on the card between the Black King and White Queen. The Hermit (linked with the zodiac sign Virgo and the Hebrew letter Yod) contributes a creative, virile, fertile energy to this card.

Notice the white child standing with the Black King and the black child with the White Queen. These four figures together can be seen as representing the integration of opposites which, interestingly, is one of the themes of the Temperance card (Art in the Thoth deck), which is linked with Sagittarius, the rising sign in the Sibly Chart I mentioned earlier.

The Fool is commonly seen to represent birth, creation, the very beginning of something – perhaps a new idea, since the card is associated with the element Air by the Golden Dawn. On the Thoth card we don’t have The Fool gazing in the air as he steps off a cliff. However, the fact that The Fool on the Thoth card is being threatened by a tiger and a crocodile tells us that he is not in a “safe” situation, that there are risks involved, energies that may distract or block him from moving forward.

It appears that the colonies did try to reconcile the conflicting views held by the Mother Country and themselves. Indeed, before April 1775, many of the colonists hoped for reconciliation with King George III and Great Britain. But by the time the Declaration of Independence was signed, the relationship was damaged beyond repair and the colonies were ready to bring forth “a new nation conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” ~ (- Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, 1863). That “new nation” is The Fool, independent, original, and ready to face an unknown future.

The Lovers card from the Thoth deck can be said to represent equality in that we see opposites being integrated or brought into balance. Neither the Black King nor the White Queen will rule over the other. To me, this actually foreshadows the argument of the abolitionists in the 1800s, who pointed out that the Declaration of Independence states that “all men are created equal” and that slavery was in conflict with that belief.

America’s Sun Sign is Cancer. In Tarot terms, this gives us The Sun and The Chariot.

In Astrology, the Sun in a birth chart represents our general character, our ego, our identity and sense of Self. In the Tarot, The Sun is a positive, strong card associated with freedom, happiness, and good health. In The Chariot we see triumph over adversity, self-control, moving forward and taking advantage of opportunities. Cancer is a Water sign known for being sensitive, nurturing, emotional, loyal, and protective. The connection between the sign and the card can be found in comparing the protective shell on the Cancer crab with the armor, helmet, and shield used by the charioteer. Also, Cancer is a cardinal sign, which gives it the qualities of action, leadership, and outgoing activity – all of which apply to The Chariot.

In The Chariot I see a “new nation” that is fortified, armored, and steeled for whatever lies ahead, determined to direct its own path and to remove any obstacles in its way. But the armor is only necessary because the creature wearing it is vulnerable and sensitive. Cancer is the sign of home and family, concepts Americans have always held dear. America will defend its homeland and its friends with armed force if necessary.

The Moon (The Priestess) is in Aquarius (The Star).

In Astrology, the Moon represents emotions, instincts, and the unconscious – the hidden aspects of the personality. In Astrology, the Moon rules the sign Cancer. The Priestess holds the Book of Mysteries on her lap, a book containing esoteric knowledge that can only be accessed using intuition, emotion, and the unconscious mind.

The sign Aquarius (which happens to be ruled in modern Astrology by Uranus) is known for innovation, humanitarianism, idealism, and intellect. Aquarians are often described as displaying rebellious, unusual, even shocking behavior.

The Star card in the Thoth deck features Nuith (Nuit) pouring the Water of Universal Life upon the fertile earth. Nuith is based on an Egyptian sky goddess, Nut, who was appropriated by Aleister Crowley for use in the Thelema pantheon. Crowley wrote: “Nuit is All that which exists, and the condition of that existence” and "Note that Heaven is not a place where Gods Live; Nuit is Heaven, itself."

To me, these qualities of Aquarius and The Star beautifully depict the inner spirit, emotions, and “unconscious mind” of the United States of America that was “born” on July 4, 1776 – the motivation and deepest emotional needs of the people who journeyed to and settled in the New World. What I am getting are the hope and faith and high ideals within so many of those who settled here: the sentiments that inspired the words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The Lovers (and The Fool) rising, The Chariot sun sign, and The Star moon sign together create a picture of this country that reflects the past, mirrors the present,  and offers hope for the future.

Happy Birthday, America!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Easy as JKL…

In this Tarot Notes series, I will be pulling a card for each letter of the alphabet. Each card will be from a different deck. To add to the cleverness, of course, the name of the deck will begin with the letter being used, if at all possible. (Deck attributions are provided at the end of this post.)

To read the blog post for the letters ABC, click _HERE._  For DEF, click _HERE_.  For GHI, click _HERE_.

Image background by Daniel Albany from Pixabay

J is for JUSTICE. 

Yep. I finally drew an actual card with a title that starts with the appropriate letter. I love it. The Joie de Vivre Tarot is obviously tuned into this game. In this deck, Lady Justice is accompanied by a “furry green companion named Creed,” who displays a golden set of balanced scales.

K is for KARMA. 

I don’t have a Tarot deck whose name begins with “K.” An internet search revealed the Karma Tarot. You can see the cards from this deck _HERE_. I went to one of hundreds of sites on line where you can randomly click and choose a Tarot card. The card that turned up was The Wheel of Fortune – which, in turn, I have decided represents “K is for Karma.” (See what I did there?) I think of this card as a “what goes up must come down” kind of thing, meaning that we all have ups and downs and round-and-rounds as we go through life. At times we might even feel centered and stable, in the middle of the Wheel. How much of what we experience is actually due to “karma” (“what goes around, comes around”) is not always clear.

L is for LANGUISH. 

In Legend: The Arthurian Tarot, the story linked with the Nine of Swords is the story of Elaine, Lily Maid of Astolat, whose unrequited love for Lancelot (another “L”) cause her to die of a broken heart. When we “languish,” we are obsessing over something or someone, giving ourselves over to grief or worry or suffering.


J: Joie de Vivre Tarot by Paulina Cassidy (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)
K: Karma Tarot Deck by Birgit Boline Erfurt (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)
L: Legend The Arthurian Tarot by Anna-Marie Ferguson (Llewellyn Publications)

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Easy as G H I ...

In this Tarot Notes series, I will be pulling a card for each letter of the alphabet. Each card will be from a different deck. To add to the cleverness, of course, the name of the deck will begin with the letter being used, if at all possible. (Deck attributions are provided at the end of this post.)

To read the blog post for the letters ABC, click _HERE_.  For DEF, click _HERE_.

Image background by Daniel Albany from Pixabay

G is for GATEWAY. 

In The Gilded Tarot, the Two of Wands shows a traveler facing a fork in the road. He is at a crossroads, and needs to make a choice or decision, even though it may not be clear to him which choice is the “correct” one. No matter which path he chooses, he is going to go through a (figurative) gateway beyond which lies the unknown.

H is for Heart. 

The suit of Cups is usually linked with the suit of Hearts, and both typically represent relationships, emotions, and the subconscious. The Two of Cups often indicates a heart-to-heart connection based on chemistry, magnetism, or recognition of “like meeting like.” This heartfelt connection can be romantic in nature but could also apply to a connection between a person and a group, idea, or project. With the number Two, we can be looking at opposites that are attracted to each other because each offers something the other lacks and needs or wants.

I is for IDENTITY. 

I don’t have a deck whose name begins with I, so I did an internet search and found Ibis Tarot. You can see the cards from this deck HERE. I then went to one of hundreds of sites on line where you can randomly click and choose a Tarot card. The card that turned up was THE SUN. In astrology, the Sun represents our Self – hence my choice of the word “Identity.” The Sun card in Tarot is also often seen to be a representation of our personality and character. We are encouraged to be our authentic, shining Self.

For Easy as JKL, click _HERE._


G: The Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti (Llewellyn Publications)
H: Tarot of the Hidden Realm by Julia Jeffrey (Llewellyn Publications)
I: Ibis Tarot by Josef Machynka (U.S. Games Systems Inc.) Based on the designs published in the book Practical Astrology by Comte C. de Saint-Germain.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Easy as DEF...

In this Tarot Notes series, I will be pulling a card for each letter of the alphabet. Each card will be from a different deck. To add to the cleverness, of course, the name of the deck will begin with the letter being used, if at all possible. (Deck attributions are provided at the end of this post.)

To read the blog post for the letters ABC, click _HERE_.

Background Image by Daniel Albany from Pixabay

D is for DISCOVERY. 

Whether THE HERMIT is a dragon keeping watch over a treasure or an old man with a lantern, the card is about discovery – seeking and finding, searching and uncovering, enlightenment and gaining knowledge you didn’t have before. The treasure is “that which the journey offers to the hero who undertakes an esoteric trip.” (Toraldo)

E is for EDGY. 

The suit of Swords gives new meaning to the expression “to be on edge.” The NINE OF SWORDS is often about the kind of fear or anxiety that keeps us awake at night. Whether the crisis is real or imagined, our nervous system remains in fight or flight mode.


F is for FAIRNESS. 

The association of “fairness” with JUSTICE was pretty much a no-brainer for me. On this version of the card, we have statues of ancient Chinese Lion-Dogs or Fu-Dogs, placed by temple doors as guardians. They protect the space they guard, hunting down and driving away evil spirits.

For "Easy as GHI," click _HERE_.


D: Dragons Tarot by Manfredi Toraldo / Artwork by Severino Baraldi (Lo Scarabeo)
E: Ethereal Visions by Matt Hughes (self published)
F: Fantastical Creatures Tarot by Lisa Hunt and D.J. Conway (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Easy as ABC…

In this Tarot Notes series, I will be pulling a card for each letter of the alphabet. Each card will be from a different deck. To add to the cleverness, of course, the name of the deck will begin with the letter being used, if at all possible. (Deck attributions are provided at the end of this post.)

Background Image by Daniel Albany from Pixabay

Ancestral Path Tarot

A is for ACTION. 

The PRINCE OF STAVES (Knight of Wands) is represented in the Ancestral Path Tarot by the god Horus, son of Isis and Osiris. Fire of Fire, he is filled with solar energy, with a passionate spirit that propels him into action.

Baroque Bohemian Cats' Tarot

B is for BONDAGE. 

(Okay, not THAT kind of bondage… or is it?) With the EIGHT OF SWORDS, we are looking at feelings or a perception of being trapped, confined, or controlled. The cat in this image from The Baroque Bohemian Cats’ Tarot stands with eyes shut and head down, surrounded by swords. Her paws are bound. Valuable insight and freedom can result from challenging emotional or mental bonds / bindings / bondage.

Chrysalis Tarot

C is for CHARM.

The KNIGHT OF MIRRORS (Knight of Cups) card is titled “The Dreamer” in the Chrysalis Tarot. Among this Knight’s many appealing qualities is his charm, along with his spirit of hopefulness and his dreamy, mystical outlook. At his best, the Knight of Mirrors channels his thoughts and dreams into real-life experiences, inspiring us by demonstrating that dreams can come true.

For "Easy as DEF," click _HERE_.

A: Ancestral Path Tarot by Julie Cuccia-Watts (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)
B: The Baroque Bohemian Cats’ Tarot by Karen Mahony (Magic Realist Press)
C: Chrysalis Tarot / Paintings by Holly Sierra, Written by Toney Brooks (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

Monday, June 3, 2019

Relationship Potential Reading using Elemental Associations

A sample reading using
The DruidCraft Tarot by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm
Illustrated by Will Worthington
(St. Martin’s Press)

QUESTION: “What is the potential for my 
relationship with a girl at work?”




Using the DruidCraft Tarot, I drew three cards to provide insight into this relationship. In the system I am using, elemental associations determine the strength or weakness of the cards. In this layout, the middle card is called the "principal" card. It is the response to the question. The other two cards modify the principal card. They are read only from an elemental standpoint, not as individual cards.

In addition to the element associated with each card, I assign an element to the question itself. Your question concerns a relationship. Therefore, it has been assigned the element Water (emotions, relationships).

Position 1. THE HERMIT (Earth)
Position 2. KING OF SWORDS (Air)
Position 3. PRINCESS OF SWORDS (Air)

The first thing I do is look at the overall strength of the principal card in this spread. The KING OF SWORDS is fairly strong in this reading. As an Air card, it is compatible with and supported by the question (Water) as well as the PRINCESS OF SWORDS (Air). However, it is incompatible or antagonistic to THE HERMIT, an Earth card.

For more insight, we look at the meaning of the principal card: the King of Swords. As the suit of Air, the Swords represent logic, intellect, and reason. There is a feeling of patience and endurance with this card, a sense of high potential for success if you are willing to work at it. The King of Swords can also represent someone with a very set attitude who has trouble telling the difference between the positive trait of determination and the negative trait of stubbornness.

The cards seem to indicate that this relationship has positive potential. Success is more likely if you can avoid being overly emotional and if you are willing to put forth the effort to resolve any conflicts that may arise.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Twelve Houses of the Zodiac Reading: Part 3

The Twelve Houses of the Zodiac Tarot Spread

Excerpted from 
Tarot Awareness: Exploring the Spiritual Path
by Stephen Walter Sterling

I recently came across the Twelve Houses of the Zodiac Spread by Stephen Walter Sterling on line, and I loved the way each house/sign was described in the positional definitions. This spread forms a pattern resembling the astrological birth chart, beginning with Aries and ending with Pisces.

For the purposes of this blog, I am going to do the spread in three “installments.” Part 1 included Houses 1-4. Click _HERE_ to read. Part 2 included Houses 5-8. Click _HERE_to read.

Part 3 includes Houses 9-12. I am using Tarot of the Spirit by Pamela and Joyce Eakins (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)


(9) The House of Philosophy, Sagittarius: Does life hold any particular depth of meaning for you? What are you aiming for? Where do you want to go? What is the nature of your belief system? What do you value? (Fire)

FOUR OF EARTH: Power (Sun in Capricorn) / Traditional Name: 4 of Pentacles
With the Four of Earth, we see the sort of power that protects, guards, and defends me from loss or destruction. It’s about being vigilant about keeping what is mine, what I have worked or fought for, that which is valuable to me. The danger in doing so is that if I focus on preventing loss, I risk losing a sense of what brings true satisfaction.

(10) The House of Pragmatism, Capricorn: What areas of our life do you need to apply practical methods? Where do you need grounding? (Earth)

FIVE OF WIND: Fear (Venus in Aquarius) / Traditional Name: 5 of Swords
Eakins interprets this card as being “trapped in a self-designed prison of negative energy from the past.” There is a sense of intellectual or mental energy taking control and running away with me, and if that is the case, a dose of grounding and practicality could be useful. There is a need to try to see thing as they really are, not how I imagine or fear them to be. Instead of spending so much time “in my head,” I need to become more invested in the “real world.”

(11) The House of Originality, Aquarius: The individual searches for identity with a new approach. How do you relate to others in the process? (Air)

For this position, I have drawn “The Mystery Card,” a card that is unique to this Tarot deck. It is viewed as a card of “birth, death and karmic transitions; incredible power, magic and wonder.” Very appropriate for “The House of Originality,” I think! You can view a fascinating video by Pamela Eakins about this card _HERE_.

(12) The House of Intuition, Pisces: Where is listening to the Inner Voice of critical importance? How is your psychic development proceeding? (Water)

EARTH SISTER: Revelation (Aries, Taurus, Gemini) / Traditional Name: Page of Pentacles
I love that in this deck, Earth Sister represents “the brink of transformation,” advising me that “something new is coming” and I am “moving steadily, with stability.” Few ideas are more appealing when applied to The House of Intuition and psychic development. I like the sense of being “at the beginning” of something but also prepared/ready for that transformation to take place.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Twelve Houses of the Zodiac Reading: Part 2

The Twelve Houses of the Zodiac Tarot Spread

Excerpted from
Tarot Awareness: Exploring the Spiritual Path
by Stephen Walter Sterling 

I recently came across the Twelve Houses of the Zodiac Spread by Stephen Walter Sterling on line, and I loved the way each house/sign was described in the positional definitions. This spread forms a pattern resembling the astrological birth chart, beginning with Aries and ending with Pisces.

For the purposes of this blog, I am going to do the spread in four “installments.” Part 1 included Houses 1-4. Click _HERE_ to read.

Part 2 includes Houses 5-8. I am using Tarot of the Spirit by Pamela and Joyce Eakins (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

(5) The House of Persona, Leo (Fire): What is your outer self like, the personality that you present to the world? How do you express yourself? Do you face life with courage, with flair?

SIX OF WIND: Clarity (Mercury in Aquarius) / Traditional Name: 6 of Swords
The qualities of Aquarius and Mercury (the mind) suggest that my outer self (the personality I present to the world) is, in many ways, that of an intelligent and free-spirited sort of person with the ability to detach that can cause me to come across as being “aloof” or “distant.” In my birth chart, I actually have Mars in Aquarius in the Fifth House (the house I am currently talking about in this reading). From an elemental perspective, this is a combination of Fire (Leo) and Air (Aquarius). Fire and Air are mutually supportive and both are “active” elements, representing forward motion and getting things done.

(6) The House of Detail, Virgo (Earth): Is your attention to priority reasonable and productive? Are you well organized? Are you being of service?

NINE OF WIND: The Screen (Mars in Gemini) / Traditional Name: 9 of Swords
This card typically refers to feelings of being threatened or in danger. Virgo (which happens to be my rising sign) is known for being worried or anxious about things, perhaps overly focused on details. Gemini is an Air sign ruled by Mercury (the mind, thoughts, perceptions), so these fears may or may not be based in reality. If we think about this type of energy in the Sixth House, we can see where it might be disruptive or interfere with my ability to pay attention to detail, to be organized and productive, and could even affect my willingness or ability to be “of service” to others. Mars/Gemini energy can really rock Virgo’s “down-to-earth” boat.

(7) The House of Balance, Libra (Air): Do the activities of your life add to your peace of mind? Is your distribution of energy well proportioned?

Linked with the Fire sign Aries, The Emperor is “swift, male, creative energy” with “clear sight and presence of mind” and “exceedingly well organized.” (from Tarot of the Spirit by Pamela Eakins, Ph.D. / Weiser). This energy suggests that the activities of my life contribute to a sense of stability and security, a sense that things are more or less “under my control” as I “oversee my kingdom.”  One would expect The Emperor’s energy to be “well proportioned.” Again we have the combination of Fire and Air, indicating forward progress and achievement.

(8) The House of Intensity, Scorpio (Water): What is it that you feel strongly about? How do you regenerate your emotions, change how you view your inner atmosphere?

FOUR OF WIND: Mastery (Jupiter in Libra) / Traditional Name: 4 of Swords
Interesting to see this somewhat “stagnant” energy appear in “The House of Intensity.” Pamela Eakins describes the Four of Wind as “a holding pattern,” “resting on your laurels.” We are dealing with the Air sign Libra here, a sign known for being indecisive (mostly because Libra craves harmony and dreads conflict, so it can be difficult to make decisions). One way of interpreting the idea of “Mastery” in “The House of Intensity,” is to consider that perhaps I am at a place “between passions,” so to speak. I have indulged in various things that regenerate my emotions and in a sense, have reached a plateau in those areas. The intensity, therefore, is bound to have faded a bit, creating a bit of a lull.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Twelve Houses of the Zodiac Reading: Part 1

The Twelve Houses of the Zodiac Tarot Spread

Excerpted from
Tarot Awareness: Exploring the Spiritual Path
by Stephen Walter Sterling
(Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.)

I recently came across the Twelve Houses of the Zodiac Spread by Stephen Walter Sterling on line, and I loved the way each house/sign was described in the positional definitions. This spread forms a pattern resembling the astrological birth chart, beginning with Aries and ending with Pisces.

For the purposes of this blog, I am going to do the spread in four “installments.” Part 1 will include Houses 1-4. I am using Tarot of the Spirit by Pamela and Joyce Eakins (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

(1) The House of Aspirations, Aries (Fire): Attitude toward reaching a goal, what you intend to accomplish, and the level of your enthusiasm. 

FIRE BROTHER: Sun Warrior (Cancer-Leo) / Traditional Name: Knight of Wands
Certainly apropos for this First House (Aries) position, Fire Brother exhibits strength, swiftness, brilliance, and agility. Clever and spontaneous, he can also be irrational and impulsive. With my Sun in the Fire sign Sagittarius, I relate well to this energy as I enthusiastically pursue my goals. I need to guard against impulsive behavior based on sudden bursts of optimism and enthusiasm.

(2) The House of Security, Taurus (Earth): Attitude toward material gain. Are you at peace with your resources?

FIVE OF WATER: Spilling (Mars in Scorpio) / Traditional Name: 5 of Cups
Known as a card of disappointment, regret, and frustration, the Five of Water often admonishes us not to “cry over spilt milk.” If we focus on what we have lost or perhaps never had (three spilled, empty cups), we cannot see that there are still avenues and opportunities and resources available to us. A deeper level of understanding is needed so that we can see above and beyond our disappointments, perceived failures, and deficits.

It is interesting to note that the planet Mars is the traditional ruler of the sign Scorpio. Scorpio and its modern ruling planet, Pluto, both represent death and decay (8th house).This tells us that even when expectations are not met, there is still strength available and an opportunity to “power through” and rise above.

(3) The House of Thought, Gemini (Air): How well you communicate your ideas, your needs, and your creative self. Learning and speaking abilities.

TWO OF WIND: The Crossing (Moon in Libra) / Traditional Name: 2 of Swords
Here we have a second instance of “matching elemental attributions,” with the positional definition being Gemini (an Air sign) and the card representing Libra (another Air sign). Libra represents a desire for peace and harmony as well as indecision. The Moon represents emotions and the subconscious.

Although my Sun sign, Sagittarius, is known for being brutally frank, the appearance of this card in the house of communication suggests that deep down, I have a strong desire for my communication and expressions of creativity to be peaceful and harmonious – in other words, I really would rather not ruffle feathers, offend, or start arguments. At times, this can make it hard for me to make a choice or decision, since I want everything to remain harmonious.

(4) The House of Emotion, Cancer (Water): The nature of your home environment. What are the areas of your life that need nurturing? Do you have a reasonable understanding of your feelings? (Water)

THE UNIVERSE (Saturn) / Traditional Name: The World
As the final card of the Major Arcana, The Universe typically represents closing a circle, completing a lesson or a journey. With The Universe card, we have finished what we started; we have seen our purpose through to the end.

In my birth chart, the 4th House is where the Sun resides, an indication that my “home” plays a significant role in who and what I am as an individual. Another interesting connection with my birth chart is the fact that in that chart, Saturn is in my First House (House of Self).

The planet Saturn, sometimes called the planet of “lessons and limitations,” is known as a stern taskmaster who constantly turns our attention to reality, duties, and obligations. Position 4 in this spread mentions home environment, nurturing, and understanding one’s feelings. These are things I may not think I need to take responsibility for, but Saturn holds a different view.

In some ways, I have come full circle. As a child growing up, I was fortunate to have a stable home life. I wanted for nothing, and I had a lot of time to pursue creative activities such as writing and music. Then came marriage, motherhood, and a long period when I worked in an office setting 8 hours a day, doing work that was not very fulfilling. Now, I am again in a stable, pleasant home environment, free to express my creativity and imagination in satisfying “work.”

Thursday, May 9, 2019

What actions should I take?

A sample reading using 
The Animals Divine Tarot by Lisa Hunt
(Llewellyn Publications)

QUESTION: “What actions should I take 
to develop my relationship with a loved one?” 




Animals Divine Tarot
Position 1. This is what you need to know. 


On this card, Spider Woman weaves her web. As creator and goddess of many Native American traditions, she has the ability to expose truth despite our possible resistance to acknowledging it. The spider is viewed as a teacher, guide, and weaver of destiny. What you need to know is that life is continuous and ever-evolving. Changes are inevitable. Look at your current situation. Make sure you do not lose sight of your journey’s purpose or get caught in a web of illusion that will hinder progress.

Animals Divine Tarot
Position 2. This is what you need to do.


On this card, a Toad proudly displays three crystal-topped Wands, representing the components of creative energy. What you need to do is use your creative energy to integrate old and new ideas, past influences and fresh perspectives. The Toad is an adaptive creature, in harmony with its environment. Your ability or inability to adapt to the changes revealed in Position 1 may promote or hinder the development of a relationship.

Animals Divine Tarot
Position 3. This is what you need to avoid.

TEN CUPS (Water)

You need to avoid letting your imagination prematurely create a “happy ever after” scenario. Your feelings for this person seem to be very strong, but trying to leap too far too fast is likely to prove counterproductive. The Whales shown on this card are masters of the sea, which represents levels of consciousness as well as emotion, intuition, and spirituality. They are ancient creatures whose powerful, rhythmic movements remind us that the achievement of goals and dreams takes time and dedication.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

What should I look for in the near future?

A sample reading using Ancestral Path Tarot
by Julia Cuccia-Watts
(U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

What should I look for in the near future?




Ancestral Path Tarot
Position 1. Situation: EIGHT OF CUPS

On this card, King Arthur deliberately turns away from everything important to him up to this point. His successes in life seem hollow to him, and he feels drawn to a spiritual quest. This card implies that you are currently dissatisfied with something in your life and would like to make a change or head in a new direction. You have reached a plateau and are contemplating consciously giving something up in return for something else that you hope will be more fulfilling. The suit of Cups is associated with the element Water (emotion, relationships).

Ancestral Path Tarot

Position 2. Challenge: THREE OF SWORDS

On this card, a Samurai knight gallops off to war in full battle regalia. Family and friends witness his departure. The challenge implied by this card involves the sorrow of separation, especially from family and relatives. The suit of Swords is associated with the element Air (thoughts, communication, struggles). There is a sense that you will have to release certain expectations about other people as well as acknowledging your own less-than-successful experiences and laying them to rest. If this is too difficult for you or if you choose not to try, it will be much harder to take the new direction suggested by the Eight of Cups.

Ancestral Path Tarot

Position 3. Opportunity: THE EMPRESS

On this card, a woman sits on a throne, reclining against a crimson cushion. She is obviously pregnant. As Key 3 of the Major Arcana, The Empress has a commanding presence in this spread. Rather than indicating a literal, physical “pregnancy,” The Empress is usually about creativity and “fertility” from the standpoint of being productive in any endeavor. You have an opportunity to create an abundant life filled with new growth and a sense of well-being. Associated with the element Earth, The Empress represents the physical, material world and practicality -- the importance of grounding our dreams and schemes in reality in order to receive tangible results.

The essence of the number 3 is expansion, and therein lies both your challenge (3 of Swords) and opportunity (Key 3, The Empress). The number 8 (8 of Cups) represents both stability and stagnation. It can be very hard to exchange the known for the unknown, even when we are dissatisfied with the known. The cards in this reading indicate great potential for some positive changes in your life.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Should I stay or should I go?

A sample reading using The Gill Tarot
by Elizabeth Josephine Gill
(U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

Question: What should I do about my relationship with my husband? Should I stay or should I go?

Response to the Seeker: Only you can answer a question as important as this one. However, the tarot can assist you in looking at this situation and can give you helpful information with which to make this decision. A Tarot reading is like a snapshot of what your life looks like at the time of the reading. The cards can give you a picture of unseen influences, patterns of behavior, obstacles, and strengths. My goal as a Tarot reader is to allow you to take responsibility for your own decisions and actions, and to act according to your own conscience for the greater good of all concerned.

The Reading: Below are the positional definitions I used, the cards I drew into those positions, and my interpretations. I laid the cards out like this:     


The Gill Tarot
Position 1. This is how staying could affect you

ACE OF SWORDS (Air / Energy) -- If you stay, be prepared to embrace a new way of thinking and/or communicating. Aces represent new beginnings in Tarot, and the suit of Swords is the suit of  Air (thoughts, intellect, communication). Air is also associated with disharmony, tension, being overwhelmed or befuddled, and behaving in a manner that is either too harsh or too weak. The bottom line is: If you stay in this marriage, you have work to do.

The Gill Tarot
Position 2. This is how leaving could affect you

SIX OF DISCS (Earth / Well-Being) -- On this card we see six discs arranged around a light in the formation of a circle. There is a sense of contentment and comfort, particularly at an everyday, material or physical level (Discs). This card suggests that leaving is likely to give you this sense of well-being, at least at first. It may seem like “the easy way out.” However, the Six of Discs also advises us that our state of contentment cannot be guaranteed to last. The expression “This too shall pass” applies not only to times of stress or difficulty but to periods in our life where we feel we finally have things the way we want them. If you are thinking that leaving will solve all your problems, you may want to think again.

The Gill Tarot
Position 3. This is what you need to focus on within yourself in making this important decision

EMPEROR (Fire / Key 4) -- The Emperor is very strong in this spread, indicating the importance of focusing on The Emperor’s most positive qualities within yourself, such as conscious control, organization, vigilance, good judgment, and a willingness to come to grips with things in a bold, forthright manner. The element Fire is associated with passion, action, confidence, assertiveness, and making one’s way in the world – as well as struggles, victories, and defeats. No matter whether you decide to stay or leave, you will need to stand firmly on your own two feet, use your head, and meet whatever challenges arise with courage.